We were certainly not dazzled by Ms. Romano's explanation of the $100,000 "surplus" that she claims can be found on page 3 of the 2010-2011 compiled financial statements.
According to Ms. Romano in her guest editorial [referring to a copy of the New Hartford Public Library's 2010-2011 Financials]:
Assuming the editorial board did not receive a copy from its reporter, I have provided a copy of the certified financial statements to each member. The fund balance is clearly disclosed on page 3 under Net Assets, Unrestricted: Board Designated $98,243.It is suspect as to whether or not Ms. Romano even knows what Unrestricted Board Designated Assets are...let alone what restrictions the library board apparently placed on the funds some time ago and how the fund is to be managed. It's clear that she has no idea of what certified financial statements are or is she merely trying to baffle with b/s?
Let's start with an explanation of Unrestricted Board Designated Assets...they are monies that the board has, presumably by board resolution, set aside for an intended purpose. They are considered unrestricted because, as easily as a board can designate a special purpose for unrestricted net assets by board resolution, it can “undesignate” those net assets by board resolution.
These funds are in contrast to temporarily restricted or permanently restricted net assets where restrictions have been placed on the use of the assets by donors or grantors external to the library. In the case of temporarily restricted net assets, the assets must remain restricted until the restriction has been satisfied. We will get back to permanently restricted assets at a later date. There definitely is a story to be told yet!
One should be able to find the purpose of board designated funds in the footnotes to financial statements. However, as we have already reported, since the year ending December 31, 2009, the first year that Daniel T. Dreimiller, CPA P.C. was hired to perform a compilation for the library, the financials (compilation) no longer include footnotes.
We have no idea why or who authorized Mr. Dreimiller to leave the footnotes out...his letter merely states that:
"Management has elected to omit substantially all the footnote disclosures required by accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America".There has never been a discussion at the board table that we have ever seen or read about in old board minutes. There has never been a Finance/Audit Committee meeting called since at least 2010 so it couldn't have been by a vote of the Finance/Audit Committee. So who is "Management" and why haven't the footnotes at least been presented to the library board of trustees for discussion? Footnotes are a critical part of financials and are needed to fully understand the library's financial picture.
To gain a better understanding of the various funds, we reviewed the last financial statement that did contain footnotes, the 2007-2008 Financial Statements prepared by Gruver, Zweifel & Scott, LLP.
Under Footnote #6 A of the library's 2008 Financials found on page 8 of the financials, we find out the intended use for these board designated monies:
The Library's board has designated unrestricted net assets to be used toward building improvements. At December 31, 2008 and 2007, designated net assets for building purposes was $94,500.Aha...the board didn't set the money aside to cover budgetary shortfalls, in other words, to create a "rainy day" fund; they actually set the money aside for building improvements. Therefore, the only way those funds can be used for other than building improvements is by board resolution.
No such board resolution was entertained, either PRIOR TO or AFTER Earl Cunningham's report to the board at the January 9, 2013 library board meeting, authorizing a transfer of money out of the board designated fund to be used to cover a budgetary shortfall of $10,000.
Furthermore, if you listen to the video in our January 10, 2013 blog, Mr. Wiatr clearly asked Treasurer Earl Cunningham if he was referring to the building fund and Mr. Cunningham replied, "NO".
Therefore, a reasonable person with a modicum of accounting experience could draw no other conclusion than the fact that there is either another "surplus fund" held by the library other than the board designated fund that appears on the financials...or, this library desperately needs someone in charge that knows what they are doing.
If we recall correctly, Mr. Cunningham himself even called the $100,000 a "surplus fund"; not a board designated fund. The board designated fund is only a surplus by virtue of the board, by resolution, changing the intended purpose for some or all the money held in the fund. We challenge Ms. Romano, Earl Cunningham or any other trustee for that matter to produce a resolution changing the purpose of the board designated fund so that it can be used to offset budget deficits.
Since Supervisor Tyksinski stated that he was aware of the surplus fund, was he aware that it was set aside for a specific purpose? Certainly, as a CPA, Supervisor Tyksinski should know what a board designated fund is...or was he only covering for Ms. Romano and Earl Cunningham? And why, oh why, did Supervisor Tyksinski make a deal with Earl Cunningham to give the library an extra $50,000 of sales tax money...money that should have been used to reduce town taxes...if he indeed knew there was a $100,000 surplus fund?
This library board is in the habit of making contradictory statements every time a question is asked and then they blame everyone else for what they deem to be "unsubstantiated opinions". They seem to believe..THEY are not the ones that are wrong, it's the rest of the world!
On another note, we were equally not dazzled by Library Tortoise, the library employee turned blogger. He put another blog online today. We could write another blog dedicated to the foolish writings of this blogger, but we have already given him his fifteen (15) minutes of fame [fifteen (15) minutes more than his blog deserves], so this time we are posting what he wrote as a pdf with some of his most incredulous blather highlighted in yellow. This employee has overstepped his bounds and he has absolutely no idea what he is talking about. Yet the library board allows him to babble on and on, literally biting the hand that feeds the library.
One of his comments...
There is no doubt that the Library's book keeping methods are basic but apparently, Mr. Wiatr cannot tell the difference between his former employer the Department of Defense and a smallish town library.He actually admits that the library's bookkeeping methods are inadequate and then calls the library "smallish". Smallish? So a "smallish" library needs a million dollars to operate? Please!
By the way, Mr. Wiatr is still gainfully employed...get your facts straight!
One last thing, this library employee keeps insisting that Mr. Wiatr writes this blog. We are saying for one last time that Mr. Wiatr not only does not write this blog, he has absolutely nothing to do with its contents.
Library Tortoise needs to crawl back under his shell and thank his lucky stars that he is still gainfully employed at the library.
Here is his latest blah, blah, blah...